Designing Summer Workshops: Scheduling


Scheduling. One of the four ten letter words of the music world. This is probably one of the most difficult steps of planning a summer workshop/camp that I go through each year. In order to plan a successful event, you need to pick a time of summer when prospective students will have the least number of conflicts. You also need to pick a time that is convenient to your schedule, which can be especially tricky if you also have children and vacations to plan around.

(Luckily my cat and husband are both super flexible with their schedules.)

While you are considering the when aspect of your planning, you’ll also need to consider the where. Because I do not have a space large enough in my studio to hold these events, I looked to my alma mater, Westminster College, for use of the rooms in their music department. If you are in a similar situation, you might consider calling around to local college music departments, high schools with keyboard labs, or perhaps even a church with a decent sized choir room. If your studio or home has a space large enough, but you do not have enough keyboards to go around – consider asking parents to bring portable keyboards to your house for that week.

Off the Printed Page 2012

Off the Printed Page 2012

Once you’ve decided your space, then it is time to sit down with the calendar and consider your options. If you know that specific students are likely to sign up for a workshop/camp, you might consider asking their parents about vacation plans. If you are planning multiple events, you will also need to decide if you want to schedule them during consecutive weeks, or if you’d like to space them apart. I like to have at least one week between workshops/camps, as this allows me enough time to A) recover from the craziness and B) plan for the next event.

Now you have a short list of things to consider when you schedule:

1) Your personal schedule

2) Your students’ schedules

3) The venue’s schedule (if you use an outside venue)


Tips: Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to schedule the workshop/camp. You will almost always find a conflict with the second item on the list. Just do your best to ensure that most of the students who are interested will be able to attend. If you have a lot of teens in your studio, be sure to consider the marching band camp schedules. I almost excluded an entire demographic in my studio because I planned a workshop that conflicted with two local band camps. Luckily, I realized it before I started advertising and was able to change the schedule.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another installment of this planning series!

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